This & That Fridays – June 3


Happy June and Happy Friday everyone!

What’s been going on with me:

Wow it’s been a while since I did a This & That Friday post…and a bit since I posted regularly.  The last few weeks have been a little mad around here.  I was completing a course and purging and organizing my house for an upcoming garage sale and then we headed out on a one week vacation to Mexico to celebrate our anniversary.  I had fully planned on doing up some posts while on vacation but the internet was spotty and I got frustrated and gave up on that idea.  Which actually wasn’t a bad thing!  I checked Instagram and Twitter once in a while but for the most part I spent a lot of time reading books and just relaxing.  The problem being that when I got back I had lost my motivation to blog.  Does that ever happen to you?  Despite being really behind on posts, I just had no desire to sit down and type up anything.  Thankfully I seem to have cleared that hump now and I’m looking forward to getting back into it!  Note that I’ve changed up the format of my This & That Fridays posts – let me know how you like it!

As mentioned above, I was completing a course back in May that was keeping me pretty busy; in line with my 2016 Goals, I registered for and completed a course in Graphic Design.  It was a lot more work than I expected but I absolutely loved it!  I plan on continuing on with the program and I will potentially have an exciting related update later on this year so stay-tuned!

Have you seen this?

Apple’s Cookie Monster commercial?  🙂 Love it!  If so, then you need to watch the bloopers.  Cookie Monster was always my favourite Sesame Street character.

collection of 25 No-Bake Peanut Butter Desserts…those Kitkat Crunch Bars are just calling my name.  You’re welcome!

Did you hear?

That Victoria Secret is discontinuing their swimwear line?  I seriously wanted to throw an adult temper tantrum when I heard this – WHY??? WHY???  Apparently they’re not making enough money off of it.  I mean, their quality could sometimes be hit and miss, but I’d be willing to pay a little more if it mean they’d keep it around.  VS is my go-to for swimwear as they typically have cute styles for a reasonable price so I’m sort of at a loss of where I’ll shop for swimwear going forward.  On the bright side I picked up a new top and bottoms for pretty cheap a few weeks ago as they were clearing out their stock.  Sad! 😦

What I’ve bought recently:

Gap Print Halter Romper – I brought this with me to Mexico and it was so comfy and so cute!  Very easy to dress up or down, based on the shoes and accessories.

Tarte Eyelash Curler – I needed a new eyelash curler and it was a toss-up between this one and Shu Umera’s version.  I ended up going with this one and I’m so glad I did.  I used one of these years ago and I forgot how much I love it!  I have a bad habit of pinching my eyelids with my eyelash curler and this eliminates that completely.  Plus it’s so comfortable in my hand and it fits my eye shape perfectly.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – 2 months after purchase I finally received my order of this CC cream from the Shopping Channel (don’t get me started…) and I hate to say it, but it was worth the wait!  It’s been the only thing I’ve used on my face for the last 2 weeks and I don’t really care to use anything else right now.  I’ll be doing a full review on this in a bit so keep an eye out for it!

What I’m currently coveting:

Gap Linen Surf Shorts – I’ve been having a lot of success at Gap lately and I really like these cozy shorts in Palm Springs Pink.

Glo Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device – I really want something to whiten my teeth – the problem being my teeth are SUPER sensitive with little enamel left on them, so I can’t use simple things like whitening toothpaste or strips.  I hate the price of this but all the reviews say it works with little to no sensitivity.  If you have any other suggestions please share below!

Ikea Falkhojden Desk: I’m looking for a desk for my office and I’ve fallen in like with this one – but I hate that it has zero storage, even with the add-on unit.  Also considering the Kimpen/Lalle.

That’s it for this week – have a great weekend!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Did you know that Mother’s Day is less than 2 weeks away?  Eeek, it always seems to sneak up on me.  This year I’m attempting to get ahead of the game and I’ve put together a gift guide in case you need some ideas too.  I thought I’d break it out by price point because everyone has a different budget but that shouldn’t mean you can’t get your Mom a great gift!


My experience is that Moms’ like to keep organized, so why not gift a book that specializes in that exact subject?  Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class On The Art Of Organizing And Tidying Up ($13 – SALE) has been touted by many as life-changing | A beautiful journal ($25) makes a wonderful gift for anyone.  Maybe your Mom doesn’t write but she make lists or just jots down important things; doing it in something that looks like a piece of art makes it that much more enjoyable | Perhaps a Herb Gardening Kit ($25) because flowers die and how awesome would it be to snip a sprig of rosemary or thyme right from your own little kitchen garden? | You can never go wrong with a gift card to Shopper’s Drug Mart.  They sell everything from snacks to lipstick and anything in between.


Candles are nice but the scent from diffusers lingers longer and you don’t have to worry about them burning your house down if left unattended. 😉 Illume’s Blackberry Absinthe version ($32) is the perfect mix of fruity and musky without being overpowering | Sunglasses are a Spring/Summer essential so pick Mom up a classic Wayfarer pair in this beautiful gold and tortoiseshell design ($42) | Not only is this S’well water bottle ($45) sparkly, it keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours. | What about a pretty little polka-dotted jewellery box ($50) to hold all of her precious treasures?


Treat Mom to a day at the spa with a Gift Card ($75).  These are great because they can be redeemed at over 5,000 spas across Canada, the US, Mexico and the Caribbean | I couldn’t resist throwing in another Kate Spade item because these Cluster Stone Stud Earrings ($64) are perfect for Spring! | My mom recently introduced me to L’Occitane’s Verbena line and and I love the scent – it smells so fresh and clean.  This Verbena Star Gift set ($76) gives her the chance to try out some of the best products in the line. | Any makeup-loving Mom would appreciate this Lancome Spring Essentials set ($65) that comes complete with 7 of Lancome’s best beauty products (that palette looks gorgeous!).


You can give your mom the gift of memories with one of these Fuji Instax Mini 8 ($86) Cameras.  How fun would it be to instantly print your photos? | Or stick with a classic fragrance like Coco Chanel Eau De Parfum Spray ($85); this is one of my Mom’s personal favourites | Having a zip wallet you can throw your phone into is so convenient, I don’t leave home without mine.  Fossil makes this vibrant version: Sydney Phone Zip Wallet – $86 | Last but not least, how about this goes-with-everything, rose-gold watch with a ceramic bracelet ($76 – SALE)?

I hope my picks spurred some ideas for you!  Usually I buy my Mom a gift and we spend the day together – we going shopping, hit up a movie or enjoy lunch/dinner together.  Do you do anything special with your Mom for Mother’s Day?

Have a great day!

Pizza Night @ Without Papers

Without Papers Pizza Calgary

Last weekend was Date Night for D and I – we were going to the hockey game and decided to go to dinner beforehand.  I had a craving for pizza so we decided on Without Papers.  We’ve visited once before, quite a few years ago and decided it was time to pay them another visit.  As usual, I made reservations using my Open Table account (which if you don’t already have, I’d highly recommend signing up for.  Find out why here).

Without Papers is a local pizzeria located in the trendy neighbourhood of Inglewood.  It’s located on the top floor of one of many historical buildings within the area.  There’s a bit of a hike up a steep flight of stairs to get to it, but once you’re upstairs its bright and airy, with the kitchen, bar and hostess stand near the back and a variety of pub tables and a bar seating around the staircase (such a smart use of space!).

Without Papers Pizza Calgary

When we arrived we were greeted warmly and promptly seated at a table in the corner, next to the window.  Our waitress came by and dropped off glasses of water while we perused the drink menu.  Their drink menu is pretty limited to beer and wine, so we both chose beers.  I ordered a Stiegel Radler, which is a grapefruit beer, and D ordered a Peroni which is an Italian beer.

Without Papers Pizza Calgary

While we waited for our drinks we eyed up the menu and decided to start with a caesar salad, and each get our own pizza.  I chose the Hawaiian 5-0 which was made up of Canadian back bacon, pineapple, jalapenos, aged cheddar and mozzarella.  D chose the Hutch which was topped with Calabrese salami, Genoa salami, pepperonata, and mozzarella.  This also came with a warning that this was spicy, which is part of the reason why he chose it (he loves heat!).

Without Papers Pizza Calgary

Our salad came shortly after we ordered our pizzas and it looked really good. I’m pretty picky when it comes to caesar salad – a) the dressing needs to have flavour and not be too garlicky b) there needs to be the right amount of dressing (not overloaded so it’s soggy but not dry either) and c) the lettuce needs to be crisp and fresh.  This version had the perfect amount of dressing and the dressing was delicious – creamy and with the right amount of garlic.  The only disappointment was with the lettuce itself – I prefer the dark, leafy part of the lettuce and it was mostly the stalks (I think that’s the word?). Not sure if this is normal for them or just a one-off.  Either way, it was still pretty good and we finished it off.

Without Papers Pizza Calgary

Then our pizza’s came.  I remember the pizza’s being good the last time ate here, but I don’t remember them being this good.  The pizzas have a super thin crust and are loaded with toppings.  This means that the crust can get a little soggy once it’s sat for a while but that doesn’t bother me one bit.  I must admit I removed the jalapeno’s from mine but I like that they leave a hint of heat behind.  Because of the light crust, you can easily eat more of your pizza than you would usually which is why I love thin crust pizza.

Without Papers Pizza Calgary

I had a slice of D’s pizza and his was really good too – albeit a bit too spicy for my taste.  He piles Sriracha and chill flakes on almost anything he can and likes the feeling of his mouth burning.  Me not so much.

Without Papers Pizza Calgary

Despite devouring almost all of our pizzas, we wanted to end our meal with a light dessert, and chose the Tiramisu.  It was really good and the perfect size to share.  The best thing about our meal is that we left full but not stuffed, which is surprising given how much we ate!

Now the one thing I have to mention that I was disappointed with was the service.  While our waitress was prompt and efficient, she was almost to efficient.  While I don’t like wait staff that don’t know when to stop talking, a little bit of conversation/pleasantries are nice.  She never asked us how we were or explained any of the specials or features, or asked if we had any questions.  When Darren’s pizza arrived, it was the incorrect order, and she apologized, whisked the pizza away and brought the correct pizza out shortly thereafter, so we appreciated how quickly that was dealt with that situation.  However, once we finished our pizzas, she took our empty plates away and then promptly brought us our bill.  She never asked if we wanted anything further (such as um, dessert?) so when she came by to ask if we needed the debit machine, I actually mentioned to her that we’d like to see a dessert menu.  She apologized and said she had simply forgotten and brought us the menu right away.  However, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that she wanted us out of there ASAP, which was annoying.   I hate being rushed when out for a meal.   I’m not sure if she was at the end of her shift or just anxious for us to move on, but either way, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Despite the customer service snafu, we were really pleased with our meal overall and would definitely return.  The delicious pizza made up for the oversight in service, and I’d totally recommend it as a place to curb your pizza craving in Calgary.

Where’s your favourite pizza from?  Let me know below.

Thanks for reading!


A Valentine’s Day Dinner @ The Living Room


Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you’re enjoying a great day with those you love; whether it be your spouse, significant other, family, friends or pets.  I always see Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate all the love you have in your life – no matter who or what it’s coming from.

Today I’m doing something a little different on my blog – a restaurant review!  One of my goals this year was to grow my blog – and I want to do that not only in readership, but in topics I write about.  As much as I love writing about beauty and makeup, I want to start incorporating more lifestyle topics into my blog as well.

The Living Room Calgary

For Valentine’s Day this year we decided to go low key and just go for a nice dinner and forgo gifts.  I started researching restaurants earlier this week via Open Table and landed on The Living Room.  I’d been wanting to pay them a visit for a while now and it seemed like a great spot for a Valentine’s Dinner.  I should mention that we never go for our Valentine’s dinner on Valentine’s Day – I hate fixed menu’s and crowds, so we always for a few days before or after V-Day.

The Living Room Calgary

When we arrived the first thing I noticed were the two outdoor, wood burning fireplaces that flank either sides of their patio.  It was chilly the night we were there and it created a lovely ambience as you walk up the door.  I can only imagine that this is a highly popular spot during the summer months.

The Living Room appears to be an old bungalow converted into a restaurant, with a centre bar, a more private dining area at the back and a variety of table setups throughout the front and side of the restaurant (I wish I had taken pics of the inside).  The lighting was soft and light and it had a warm and cozy ambience. It suits its name very well.

We were greeted by a friendly hostess who led us to a cozy corner table in the back dining area.  I immediately observed that the table was pretty small.  Thankfully we didn’t have anyone sitting next to us until about halfway through our meal but if you had people on both sides of you it could get cramped pretty quickly.

The Living Room Calgary

Our waiter came by and introduced himself and offered us still water. We each ordered drinks – I had a Fresh Cherry cocktail that was a mixture of Black Cherry Grey Goose Vodka, dry Curacao, cherry Morlacco, fresh lime, and soda.  D ordered the Dealer’s Choice, which is essentially is whatever the Bartender feels like making for you that night.  I forgot the name of what ended up getting but it was some kind of concoction that contained whiskey.  I found my drink to be fairly refreshing and light; D’s drink was quite strong and sweet.  Let’s just say he ordered one of what I had ordered when he finished his.

We perused the menus for a bit but the choice of a starter was an easy one – fondue, of course.  I had heard great things about it and because it’s cheese and bread and cheesy bread so I didn’t see how we could go wrong.  The fondue comes with bread to dip but D, being the meatatarian that he is, decided he wanted to add sausage to it as well.  So we did.

Cheese Fondue at the Living Room Calgary

The fondue arrived shortly thereafter and it was delicious!  It was smooth, rich and creamy and had a great balance of flavours.  Despite containing both truffles and truffle oil, it had just a hint of truffle which was good because I’m not the biggest truffle fan.Cheese Fondue at the Living Room Calgary

The fondue was accompanied by a generous basket of baguette cubes that were the perfect texture – firm enough to pierce and dip into the fondue without falling apart but fresh enough not be dry.  The Italian sausage we ordered was actually pretty lean (which is a little weird for an Italian Sausage) so we both found it lacked a little flavour although that didn’t stop us from devouring it.

We had ordered our main at the same time as the fondue and given that I had skipped lunch that day, ordering the whole chicken seemed like a good idea.  Typically our eyes are always bigger than our stomach and after stuffing ourselves full with the fondue we realized the error in our judgement.  Especially when this arrived:

The Living Room Calgary

Apparently we didn’t think a whole chicken was going to cut it so we had also ordered sides of the smoked pomme puree and orange-glazed carrots.  Everything looked delicious so we dug in.

The Living Room Calgary

I found the chicken to be moist and juicy with a distinct lemon flavour.  It was good – but I’m not sure it was the best chicken I’ve ever had and for the price I was kind of expecting more, to be honest.  The accompanying gravy definitely added to it and made it more enjoyable.

The Living Room Calgary

The potatoes were creamy and most definitely smoky – perhaps a little too smoky for liking.  When I topped them with some gravy that diffused the smokiness a bit; however the carrots were sweet and crisp and we definitely enjoyed those.

Unfortunately we had no room for dessert so our meal ended there, so we finished our drinks, grabbed our doggy bag and went on our way.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with our experience; the fondue was fantastic and I’d definitely go back just for that.  I think you could easily make a meal of just the fondue if you ordered additional accompaniments.   I don’t think I’d order the chicken again though.

I was very impressed with the service we received – our server was prompt without being intrusive and friendly and personable.  We never felt rushed and were able to relax and enjoy our meal.  Which is totally what I was looking for in a Valentine’s Day dinner.  If you’re ever in the area, I’d recommend it.

Thanks for reading!


Winter Essentials

Winter Essentials 2016

I know that everyone probably has Spring on their mind and it’s really thinking about Winter, but the reality is (at least where I live!) that Spring is still 2-3 months away.  While that seems a little depressing, the bright side is we made it through January which, in my mind – is the worst month of the year!

Today I have a collection of my Winter Essentials.  These are things that help me get through those cold, snowy (and slushy) winter months and make it a little more bearable.

  1. Emergenc-C: After being sick for over a month with whatever mutated flu virus I had, I’m determined not to get it again.  I always like to have some of these on hand; it’s a powdered mix you add to water that has 1,000 mg of Vitamin C, zinc and electrolytes to boost your immune system.  They come in little individual packets to that are super easy to throw in your purse or gym bag.
  2. Boot Rescue Wipes: Whoever invented these is a genius!  I’ve been using boot wipes for the last two years and they’re a god-send; there’s nothing worse than having salt stains and mud splatters all over your boots in the winter.  One swipe with these and they’re gone and back to being sparkling clean.  I keep a pack of these at home and at work and I use them constantly.
  3. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask: This saved my skin when I was sick!  My skin was so dry and flaky from wiping my eyes constantly and was super parched.  I broke this out one night, applied a generous dab of it all over my face and woke up to the softest, smoothest skin.  I’ve been using it twice a week since and I can’t see myself going through another winter without it now.
  4. Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer: My favourite face primer for dry weather.  I have combination skin but this leaves my skin looking glowy and hydrated but not oily or greasy.
  5. Vaseline Lip Therapy: I keep this on my night stand at night and use it as my overnight lip treatment.  It works wonders and leaves my lips feeling soft and smooth in the morning.
  6. Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub: My lips are naturally dry and if I want to wear anything aside from a gloss or a balm on my lips, I need to exfoliate before.  Bonus that you can lick off the excess scrub after applying it and it tastes like bubblegum!
  7. Delectable Strawberry & Cream Super Smoothing Body Polish: My skin gets ridiculously dry in the winter and if I want my moisturizer to absorb, I need to exfoliate several times a week.  This scrub smells amazing (seriously, I want to eat it) and is effective yet gentle on my sensitive skin.
  8. Fossil Sydney Zip Phone Wallet: When I’m out and about during winter, wearing a thick winter coat, boots, scarf, sweater, etc. I don’t want to be dragging my purse with me on top of all of that.  So I like having a wristlet that can hold my phone and all my cards too.  I own a similar Kate Spade version and I love how convenient it is.
  9. Kate Spade New York Diagonal Stripe Portable Charger:  I can’t make an essentials list without something from Kate Spade.  I have one of these portable chargers and they’re so handy, especially at this time of year when my phone seems to die instantly when being exposed to the cold weather.
  10. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: This saved my hands throughout January when I was sick and washing my hands 24/7.  When my hands get dry, my eczema flares up and this keeps it at bay.  It leaves my hands feeling moisturized without feeling greasy and absorbs quickly.
  11. Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizer: I’m religious user of hand sanitizer and B&BW’s version is my favourite.  At this time of year when germs are running rampant, I kind of want to bathe in it but I limit myself to using it after taking transit, before eating meals and after using the restroom.
  12. HUE Super Opaque Tights: Hue makes my favourite tights; despite being control top, these are super comfortable and they last many wears.
  13.  Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment: Hair masks are important to apply all year round, but especially during this time of year.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about this hair mask and I can’t wait to give this a try once my current hair mask runs out.
  14. Orly Argan Oil Cuticle Drops: This is one of my favourite cuticle oil products; I actually see a difference after using this on a regular basis, and I have pretty rough and dry cuticles.
  15. RW & Co Shimmery Open Front Cardigan: I always dress in layers in Winter and a cozy cardi is a necessity.  Love the subtle shimmer on this one, it just adds that little bit of something extra.
  16. American Eagle Socks: I have these socks and they are SO cute and comfy!  They look great paired with leggings and a plaid shirt or comfy sweater.
  17. J-crew Chateau Parka: A classic wool coat is a winter wardrobe staple: I recently purchased one very similar to this and I love how the faux fur trim around the hood fancies it up.  This J-Crew version comes in some fantastic bright colours too!

Thanks for reading!